May 2019 Archives

ESPN in the news

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Get woke, go broke - proven true yet again. From John Nolte writing at Breitbart:

Nolte: ESPN President Takes a Knee — ‘Fans Do Not Want Us to Cover Politics’
ESPN President Jimmy Pitaro conceded defeat Monday by finally admitting, “Without question our data tells us our fans do not want us to cover politics.”

Well, no shit.

You needed your data to tell you that, Jimmy?

You needed to convene something to do a tabulation that deliver some data, Jimmy?

Was it the 15 million lost subscribers? Was that the “data?”

How about the endless complaints across social media, the editorials…?

Maybe the layoffs? Those massive layoffs — were the layoffs the data, Jimmy?

Perhaps it was the ratings crash?

Consumer sentiment?

Seriously, Jimmy, please do share with us this data of which you speak.

Get woke, go broke - this happens every time some corporation gets coerced by the Social Justice Warriors to do something stupid. The SJWs are a fraction of the population. I would be seriously surprised if they comprised more than five percent of the total population of the USA. Why are they getting so much air-time and publicity?

Their fifteen minutes are well over - time for them to dry up and blow away.

Iran in the news

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Wonderful little 9th century theocratic tyranny they have there. From Yahoo/Bloomberg:

Iran Accelerates Production of Enriched Uranium as Tensions Rise
Iran has accelerated the rate at which it’s enriching low-grade uranium four-fold, weeks after threatening to gradually scale back its commitments under a 2015 deal meant to prevent it from developing a nuclear bomb.

The semi-official Tasnim news agency quoted Behrouz Kamalvandi, an official at Iran’s Atomic Energy Organization, as saying that Iran had increased its output of 3.67% enriched uranium as of Monday, and that the United Nations nuclear watchdog had been informed. The number of active centrifuges has not been raised, it added. Crucially, Iran hasn’t increased the level to which it is enriching beyond the agreed limit.

If this is what they are publically admitting to, the real news has to be a lot worse. Why do they need nuclear? They are the primary sponsor of terrorism in the world. Time to join the 21st century.

From the Los Angeles NBC affiliate:

Rotting Trash Piles Sky-High in LA, Attracting Rats and Raising Concerns of a New Epidemic
Rat-infested piles of rotting garbage left uncollected by the city of Los Angeles, even after promises to clean it up, are fueling concerns about a new epidemic after last year's record number of flea-borne typhus cases.

Even the city's most notorious trash pile, located between downtown LA's busy Fashion and Produce districts, continues to be a magnet for rats after it was cleaned up months ago. The rodents can carry typhus-infected fleas, which can spread the disease to humans through bacteria rubbed into the eyes or cuts and scrapes on the skin, resulting in severe flu-like symptoms.

The NBC4 I-Team first told Mayor Eric Garcetti's office about the piles of filth in the 700 block of Ceres Avenue in October. At the time, he promised to make sure trash doesn't pile up like that.

The garbage was cleaned after the interview, but conditions have worsened over the next seven months.

Much more at the site - the city is doing nothing to control the rat population. Lots of new cases of flea-borne typhus. This is what happens when you promote social programs over basic infrastructure.

SIGGRAPH 2019

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Special Interest Group - Graphics - the 2019 conference is being held in Los Angeles July 28 to August 1st.
Here is the brag reel:

Lots of new technologies happening. Fun time to be alive.

So true. If a Republican had been featured in this picture, there would be an uproar from the peanut gallery about cultural appropriation, racism and pandering. Bernie? Not so much:

Up to the farm for two days

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Heading up later this afternoon. Got a meeting with a contractor Thursday morning but nothing else down here - back up for another bunch of clearing crap out.

Had weird dreams last night - dreaming about earth movement. Not quakes but subsidence. Streets in Bellingham shifting and sliding around. We had another small and deep temblor off the coastline last night - 3.4M off Ocean Shores but that would have been undetectable from here.

Out the door

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Dropping the bills off at the post office, picking up some CDs from the library and getting a bite to eat.

A great disturbance in the Force

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Actually, not that bad.

We just had a Mag 2.5 earthquake near Neah Bay. 37km deep so very minor.

Child abuse in the news - Measles

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The news just keeps getting better - from Reuters:

Measles outbreak spreads to Oklahoma as U.S. reports 41 new cases
The worst measles outbreak in the United States in 25 years has spread to Oklahoma, federal health officials said on Monday as they reported 41 new cases nationwide, raising the total number sickened this year to 880 people.

The U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported a 4.9% increase in the number of measles cases from May 10 to May 17 in an outbreak that has now reached 24 states. The agency has been providing weekly updates every Monday.

Parents who do not vaccinate their children need to really have their heads examined.

Creepy Joe and Global Warming

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Looks like he is trying to pad his resume - from PJ Media:

'Uniter-in-Chief' Biden Takes Credit for Starting 'This Whole Thing' on Climate Change in '87
Remember when Joe Biden suggested that both sides seek a “middle ground” on climate policy, and was blasted by Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez and Bernie Sanders, forcing him to walk back his proposal? Well, in the hopes of trying to maintain his radical leftist credentials, Joe Biden is now claiming he’s responsible for bringing the issue of climate change to the public consciousness.

Former Vice President Biden was asked Saturday by an activist with the US Youth Climate Strike if he would support a presidential climate debate hosted by her group, at which point he jumped in to tout his global-warming bona fides.

“By the way, I want you to know: I’m the guy that did all this stuff—read RealClearPolitics, it will tell you about how I started this whole thing back in ’87 with climate change,” he said at a campaign stop in video posted online.

Asked if he would commit to being a leader, he said, “I guarantee I’ll be a leader.”

Biden was the first senator to introduce climate change legislation, 1986 Global Climate Protection Act, but, him trying to take credit for the movement to address climate change is as absurd as Al Gore claiming he invented the internet. In fact, Politifact notes, “Biden’s bill was not the first time Congress focused on climate change.”

The 2020 Democratic race is a clown car. Political theater at its finest.

Q10 text editor

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I always like looking at different text editors. Q10 looks good - very simple. None of the bloat that MS Word has.

I had written about this sale on May 8th and the auction comes to an end today in six hours. So very tempting. She needs about $100K to bring up to decent condition and there is probably some asbestos remediation needed but still, this is a screaming deal.

Quelle surprise - illegal invaders

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From Russa Today:

DNA pilot tests show 30% of migrants stopped at US border not related to ‘their’ kids - report
In a pilot program conducted by the Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) DNA tests were being taken of immigrants who are suspected of arriving at America’s southern border with children who were not theirs.

“There’s been some concern about, ‘Are they stepfathers or adopted fathers?’” an official involved in the system's temporary rollout told Washington Examiner“Those were not the case. In these cases, they are misrepresented as family members.” 

Who is bankrolling this? Classical Cloward-Piven - overwhelm the system.

Of course - from the Washington Examiner:

Trey Gowdy: FBI withheld 'game changer' transcript material from FISA Court
Former Rep. Trey Gowdy, R-S.C., says there are unreleased transcripts of recorded conversations between FBI informants and former Trump campaign associate George Papadopoulos that “has the potential to be a game changer.”

In a Fox News interview with Maria Bartiromo on Sunday, the former House Oversight Committee chairman said when the FBI listens in on phone calls or sends in an informant wearing a wire then “there’s a transcript of that” and that “one in particular has the potential to actually persuade people.”

In laying out a series of questions about the origins of the counterintelligence investigation into President Trump's campaign and the FBI and Justice Department's handling of the operation, Gowdy listed a series of questions he thinks need to be answered, including: “Where are the transcripts, if any exist, between the informants and the telephone calls to George Papadopoulos?”

I would not want Gowdy investigating me - he is unstoppable. There are a lot of clips of him on CSPAN - worth watching.

Good riddance - Salon

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The Schadenfreude is strong with this story - from RedState:

Salon.Com Is Going Out Of Business And That Means Our National Politics Are Healthier Than We Thought
Sometimes when a company implodes you feel sorry for the people who are losing their jobs. Sometimes, however, it is very, very difficult to do so. This week, the New York Post reported on one of those instances where a company fails and you have an urge to send “Learn to Code” memes to every single one of their employees:

Salon Media Group, a one-time digital darling, has fallen on hard times. It lost its CEO of the past three years last week and appears to be on the brink of a deal to sell itself for a fire sale price of $5 million.

It's initial IPO raised $107 Million.

Good news from Belgium

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Looks like some clear heads are passing laws there - from MSN:

Making your kids go vegan can mean jail time in Belgium
On May 16, the Royal Academy of Medicine of Belgium issued an opinion that will make it possible to imprison parents who enforce a vegan diet on their children.

The academy determined that veganism for kids is “unethical” because it can lead to health problems for growing children, the Belgian publication Le Soir reports (link in French). The animal-product-free diet isn’t technically prohibited, and the ruling doesn’t necessarily equate veganism with child neglect. However, it will make it easier to prosecute parents who impose the strict diet and whose children have health problems.

Children can follow a vegan diet if it’s accompanied by medical supervision, regular blood tests, and vitamin supplements, Belgian pediatricians concluded. However, parents who don’t follow through on the additional requirements risk two years in prison, fines, and the possibility that their children will be removed from their homes if the kids do have associated health issues.

Good - you can maintain a fairly healthy life eating vegetarian but going vegan tips you over the edge. I can always tell when someone is vegan - they look really unhealthy.

Rainy day

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Raining all morning. Did the usual coffee & post office routine - returned some stuff to the library and hit the thrift store. @home paying some bills now and will be doing a dump run later. Also working on the remaining photos from the Studio Tour.

I was there (Mt. Vernon, WA store) yesterday before dinner and noticed a major reset of the checkout lanes. I forget the exact numbers but they had over 20 checkout lanes and maybe 10 self-service stations.

They now have nine manned checkout lanes and 26 self-service stations.

That is one way to deal with the rising labor costs... Wonder where those extra cashiers are working these days?

If at first you do not succeed...

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First, the term of art was Global Warming. Then it morphed into a more general Climate Change. And now, this - from Legal Insurrection:

Green justice advocates may soon rebrand “Climate Change”
Green justice advocates and the political minions that cater to them may soon rebrand the phrase, “Climate Change.”

A new study, conducted by a specialty neurological research group, indicates the current term does not adequately gin-up angst in listeners.

New York City-based SPARK Neuro, a neuroanalytics company that measures emotion and attention, studied how participants responded to six terms — “climate crisis,” “environmental destruction,” “environmental collapse,” “weather destabilization,” “global warming” and “climate change.”

A total of 120 people — 40 Republicans, 40 Democrats and 40 independents — participated in the study, which measured the “emotional intensity” of responses to audio recordings of various controversial phrases, with each term inserted, like this example below:

“Sea levels will rise dramatically, to the point that many coastal cities will be submerged, as a result of [INSERT TERM].”

The electrical activity of the participants’ brains and skin was rated on a scale of zero to five — five being the strongest. Those results were then compared to a traditional survey for reference.

Two terms stood out from the pack: climate crisis and environmental destruction.

Spencer Gerrol, CEO of SPARK Neuro, indicated that generating strong emotion inspires people to act. It seems “climate change” and “global warming” are outdated and overused.

It does not adequately gin-up angst in listeners because the average listener does not believe that human-caused Global Warming exists. The scientific data sure do not show it. Global Warming is a political thing and not a scientific thing.

Ho. Li. Crap - Yamaha CS-80

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The CS-80 is one of the all-time incredible synthesizers out there. It has been used on many film soundtracks (Chariots of Fire, Blade RUnner, etc...). Older design (programming settings is a bitch) but Yamaha just simply got the sound right. Lush and incredible. Very very rare and when they do come up for sale, they are priced at over $10K for a working unit.

From Synthtopia:

Behringer Announces Plan To Clone Yamaha CS-80
Behringer today announced that it’s cloning the Yamaha CS-80.

In a message on Facebook, they announced that they’re moving forward with a design prototype:

Around a month ago we acquired an original and long extinct Yamaha CS80 and ever since we’ve been working on coming up with our own DS80 version.

Please bear in mind that this will be a design study only and we love to get your feedback before we decide how to move forward. We will be sharing our design in the next few days.

Fasten your seatbelts.

Behringer head Uli Behringer last week shared several teaser images of a vintage Yamaha CS-80, without discussing their intentions.

Now the company says that it will, at the very least, be cloning the classic polysynth as a Behringer DS-80 design study.

Very cool!

Processing the 561 photographs that I took... Already done a slug of them from the last weekend but took an additional 245 yesterday and today.

Heading out to the Chinese buffet for dinner and then back home. Island tomorrow and then to the farm for a couple of days - done with this months meetings, etc...

Great news from the New York Post:

Trump: Biden’s son should face probe over China business deal
President Trump says Joe Biden should be investigated over a conservative author’s allegations that his son Hunter Biden pocketed millions from the Chinese government in a shady business deal.

“One-hundred percent. It’s a disgrace. And then he says China’s not a competitor of ours. China is a massive competitor of ours. They want to take over the world,” the president told Steve Hilton of Fox News Channel’s “The Next Revolution.”

In his 2018 book, “Secret Empires: How the American Political Class Hides Corruption and Enriches Family and Friends,” author Peter Schweizer charged that Hunter was cashing in while then-veep Biden was negotiating with China.

“The vice president is negotiating a bunch of very sensitive issues with the Chinese, including the South China Sea, trade, tech transfer, etc. Shortly after they return to the US, Hunter Biden’s firm receives a $1 billion private equity deal from the Chinese government We have no way of knowing how much Rosemont made on the deal because there are no disclosure requirements,” he wrote.

I read this book a couple of months ago - very well researched and about 30 pages full of references and links to back up the allegations. Biden is crooked.

20190518-moon.jpg

Done shooting for the day

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Got to 18 studios today and 14 more to go for tomorrow. Overall, looking at about 30-35 hours of work with four days shooting and another ten hours sorting and processing. Fun stuff and darktable is working like a champ. Used to use Adobe Lightroom but they went to a subscription model and do not really like that. Besides, darktable is free open source software - great stuff.

Picked up another tranche of music CDs and one concert DVD to rip. My collection is now at 19,927 individual songs. If each song was three minutes, that would be a total of just under 50 days of continuous music. Gonna be set for life (or until my musical tastes change).

Boiling some more noodles and heating up the last of the smoked brisket for dinner tonight. Picked up some fresh green lettuce from a local farmer so looking forward to a great salad. Out for a beer after.

Farm on Monday for a couple of days.

Out for a fun day of photography

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Clear skies and warm today - great weather for the studio tour.

Dinner time

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Heading out after for a pint or two. More later.

Thinking of getting a tattoo?

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From the U.S. Food and Drug Administration:

FDA Advises Consumers, Tattoo Artists, and Retailers to Avoid Using or Selling Certain Tattoo Inks Contaminated with Microorganisms

Product
The following tattoo inks have been recalled because they are contaminated with microorganisms:

    • Scalpaink SCScalpaink PA, and Scalpaink AL basic black tattoo inks manufactured by Scalp Aesthetics (all lots)
    • Dynamic Color - Black tattoo ink manufactured by Dynamic Color Inc  (lots 12024090 and 12026090)
    • Solid Ink-Diablo (red) tattoo ink manufactured by Color Art Inc. (dba Solid Ink) (dba Antone's Ink) (lot 10.19.18)

Purpose
The FDA is alerting consumers, tattoo artists, and retailers of the potential for serious injury from use of tattoo inks that are contaminated with bacteria. Tattoo inks contaminated with microorganisms can cause infections and lead to serious health injuries when injected into the skin during a tattooing procedure, since there is an increased risk of infection any time the skin barrier is broken.

Yikes... Thought about getting a dragon on my forearm from time to time but never have and probably never will.

A 2016 police report has surfaced - from Breitbart:

Exclusive — 2016 Arizona Police Report: Cocaine Pipe Found in Car Rented by Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Biden, Authorities Declined to Prosecute
Breitbart News has exclusively obtained a heretofore unreported-on police report from days before the 2016 presidential election that describes how a cocaine pipe that authorities determined was used to smoke cocaine was found in a rental car returned to an Arizona Hertz location in the middle of the night. Also found in the vehicle were several personal effects of Hunter Biden, then-Vice President Joe Biden’s son, like two of his DC driver’s licenses, multiple credit cards, and personally identifying information like a Delaware Attorney General badge and a U.S. Secret Service business card that police said bore his name. Hunter Biden, according to the police report, had rented the vehicle from a location in California with the intent to return it to the Prescott, Arizona, location, where it was discovered the morning after it was dropped off with the drug paraphernalia and Hunter Biden’s personal effects inside.

The 23 page police report is at the Breitbart site and there is a lot more to read - a bit more:

Two different Prescott Police Department officers as well as a detective conducted an investigation—but ultimately local authorities in both the city and county attorney’s offices declined to prosecute the case. A document shows the reason the county attorney declined to prosecute the vice president’s son is because they thought they would only be able to get minor charges to stick, and kicked it down to the city attorney. It is unclear from the documents why the city attorney declined to prosecute.

In addition to local police, FBI and the U.S. Secret Service agents were roped into the case, as well. The FBI dispatched agents to the scene, according to the law enforcement documents, and the Secret Service communicated with the various law enforcement officials investigating and confirmed that Hunter Biden was not in harm’s way.

And, lest we forget, Biden Jr. has had previous problems with Cocaine - a clickable headline:

Vice President Joe Biden’s Son Hunter Ashamed After Cocaine-Related Dismissal From Navy

Of course, the elite never get prosecuted - the rules are for the little people.

Long day

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There was a boat show about 30 miles to the North - drove up but did not go in. Too many people and raining pretty heavily. Doing the studio photography tomorrow and Sunday so already have a busy weekend.

Stopped in at this place: Heritage Air Museum and was very pleasantly surprised. This is an actual flying museum - all of the displays are fully flight-worthy and they take them out for air shows once/month. They were doing periodic maintanence on several of them so it was a lot of fun to see all the "stuff" beneath the skin.

Fixing some dinner and surfing a bit. Doing BBQ Beef Brisket with tomatoes served over bow-tie noodles. Pressure cooking the meat and 'maters so they will be fall-apart tender and succulent.

Own a piece of history for $15

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Authentic Russian gas mask - for sale on Amazon:

20190517-gasmask.JPG

Good meeting last night

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The swap meet earned a good chunk of change (admission charges plus renting out 64 tables to vendors).

Heading out to do more photography for the studio tour tomorrow - rainy and overcast today.

Up to the farm sometime Tuesday. Nothing much happening in the real world...

If the President is incapable of performing their duties, the succession goes to the Vice President and then to the Speaker of the House. Here is Speaker Pelosi speaking to The American Road & Transportation Builders Association on the 15th (yesterday). This scares me. Who keeps putting her back in office?

Madame Speaker is 79 years old. Time to retire from the stage before she really loses it...

They found it - Beresheet

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From NASA:

Beresheet Impact Site Spotted

20190516-beresheet.jpg

The photo above shows the landing site of the Israeli Beresheet spacecraft on a region of the Moon called Sea of Serenity, or Mare Serenitatis in Latin. On April 11, 2019,

SpaceIL, a non-profit organization, attempted to land its spacecraft in this ancient volcanic field on the nearside of the Moon. After a smooth initial descent, Beresheet made a hard landing on the surface.

As soon as its orbit placed NASA’s Lunar Reconnaissance Orbiter (LRO) over the landing site on April 22, 2019, LRO imaged Beresheet’s impact site. The LRO Camera (LROC) consists of three imagers: a seven-color Wide Angle Camera (WAC) and two black-and-white Narrow Angle Cameras (NAC) mounted on the LRO, which has been studying the Moon from orbit for a decade. NAC captured the Beresheet impact photo.

A lot more at the site - some amazing technology at work. People complain about all the money that NASA spends but they fail to realize all the basic technologies that were developed and are in common (and cheap) use today.

Rain rain go away

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We need it but it puts a crimp in my yard work...

Lunch break - paying bills this afternoon.

Working at home today

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More yard work - some stuff had not been pruned for over five years so getting that cleaned up.

Ham radio meeting tonight.

Good - common sense prevails

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From Breitbart:

Christian Student Group Wins Lawsuit with University of Colorado
The University of Colorado, Colorado Springs (UCCS) has settled a lawsuit with a Christian student group which forces the university to recognize the group as an official student organization.

Breitbart News reported in February that a Christian student group at UCCS had filed a lawsuit against their university over its refusal to recognize them as an official student organization. This week, UCCS settled with the Ratio Christi student group.

The original legal complaint against the university claimed that administrators told students that they could not require their group leader to be a Christian. “It has refused to do so specifically because this religious organization seeks to ensure that its leaders share its beliefs and that its members support its mission, even though other student organizations do the same,” the complaint read.

A bit more:

Alliance for Defending Freedom Senior Counsel Travis Barham said that he is pleased with the outcome of the settlement. Barham claims that the settlement included an admission by the university that they failed to uphold the students’ right to free association.

“It would be absurd for the university to require the vegan student group to appoint a meat-lover as its president,” Barham said. “Thankfully, the university has acknowledged its error and announced a policy that respects students’ rights to free association, no longer forcing Christian students to let atheists or other non-Christians to lead their Bible studies in order to become a registered club.”

Great example of what was illogical thinking. The University admin. was disconnected from reality. Glad to see that Ratio Christi pushed back and defended themselves against this decision.

Murder most vile

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Seems that anti-abortion laws are happening not just in Alabama but in other states as well. A couple of headlines:

Liberals see abortion as a "right" - I see it as murder. I do see some instances where it is justified - amniotic testing finds a known birth defect, rape or incest, etc... but it needs to be done at the earliest possible time. The recent push by liberals extending the deadline to actual live birth is grotesque.

Rot at the top - CIA and FBI

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An interesting look at the historical record from Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Both Comey And Brennan Voted Communist While Cold War Was Raging
The heads of Obama's FBI and CIA both voted for Communists during the Cold War, yet were somehow able to move up the ranks within the same US intelligence community that had spent decades fighting that very ideology. 

Journalist Paul Sperry noted on Wednesday that former FBI Director James Comey admitted in a 2003 interview to having voted Communist before casting his ballot for Jimmy Carter in 1980. 

"In college, I was left of center," Comey told New York Magazine, and through a gradual process I found myself more comfortable with a lot of the ideas and approaches the Republicans were using.” He voted for Carter in 1980, but in ’84, “I voted for Reagan—I’d moved from Communist to whatever I am now. I’m not even sure how to characterize myself politically. Maybe at some point, I’ll have to figure it out.”

Of note, Comey's wife and four daughters were all giant Hillary Clinton supporters who wanted her to win "really badly." 

Former CIA Director John Brennan, meanwhile, admitted in 2016 to voting Communist in the 1970s. When asked at the Congressional Black Caucus Foundation's annual conference whether past activism would create a barrier for diverse candidates who want to enter the intelligence community, Brennan said that he was forced to admit to voting for Communist Gus Hall for president in 1976, according to CNN

"I froze, because I was getting so close to coming into CIA and said, 'OK, here's the choice, John. You can deny that, and the machine is probably going to go, you know, wacko, or I can acknowledge it and see what happens," CNN quoted Brennan as saying. 

Brennan (who was sworn in as CIA director on a draft of the US Constitution, without the Bill of Rights, instead of a Bible) said that while he had voted Communist, he wasn't an official member of the Communist Party - and was relieved that he had been accepted into the CIA.

Emphases and highlighting is from Tyler. Also at Zero Hedge is this interesting tussle between the two agencies:

FBI-CIA Dispute Erupts Over Whether Comey Or Brennan Pushed Steele Dossier
A dispute has erupted over whether former FBI Director James Comey or his CIA counterpart, John Brennan, promoted the unverified Steele dossier as the Obama-era intelligence community targeted the Trump campaign.

According to Fox Newsan email chain exists which indicates that Comey told bureau subordinates that Brennan insisted on the dossier's inclusion in the intelligence community assessment (ICA) on Russian interference. Also interesting is that the dossier was referred to as "crown material" in the emails - a possible reference to the fact that Steele is a former British spy. 

In a statement to Fox, however, a former CIA official "put the blame squarely on Comey." 

"Former Director Brennan, along with former [Director of National Intelligence] James Clapper, are the ones who opposed James Comey’s recommendation that the Steele Dossier be included in the intelligence report," said the official. 

Much more at the site. The next year is going to be a lot of fun to see. The whole Democratic deep-state is unraveling.

Illegal immigration and crime

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Interesting numbers from the US Department of Justice - from Conservative Review:

DOJ report: 43% of all offenders last year were non-citizens
While jailbreak, known by its proponents as “criminal justice reform,” is misguided on the state level, it is downright built upon a false premise on the federal level. The latest report from the U.S. Sentencing Commission demonstrates that the 800-pound gorilla in the room clogging up the federal criminal justice system is immigration, not “low-level” domestic offenders.

If we only solved our border problem and deported illegal aliens before they commit more crimes, not only would we be safer, but we’d save a ton of money on the federal criminal justice system – without irresponsibly releasing American criminals back into our communities, as proposed by jailbreak proponents.

According to the U.S. Sentencing Commission, in its recently published 2018 report on federal sentencing statistics, 54.3 percent of the 69,425 federal offenders last year were Hispanic, and 42.7 percent of offenders were non-citizens. The two biggest offense categories were immigration (34.4 percent) and drugs (28.1 percent).

Much more at the site with links to corroborating data.

How much are the cartels paying Schumer and Pelosi? No other answer comes to mind.

Great quote

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"Most people do not really want freedom, because freedom involves responsibility, and most people are frightened of responsibility."
--Sigmund Freud

Heh - President Trump negotiates

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A. F. Branco highlights the difference between two Presidents:

20190515-branco.jpg

From the San Francisco Chronicle:

'Winter storm warning' issued for Sierra in mid-May
With a moisture-rich atmospheric river taking aim at Northern California, the National Weather Service issued a winter storm warning for the northern Sierra Nevada. It is in effect from Wednesday night through Friday morning.

A bit more:

"We do get storms in May but the strength of this storm is anomalous," said Brendon Rubin-Oster, a forecaster with the NWS's Sacramento office. "We're getting a winter caliber system in May."

When the storm reaches its height in intensity Wednesday night, the bull's eye will likely be centered over Yosemite and Tuolumne County, where 2 to 2.5 feet of snow could fall between Wednesday and Friday. Rubin-Oster warns Highway 120 through Yosemite National Park could see significant snow.

What are you going to believe - the output from some computer model or your eyes. The hype that we only have 12 years to "DO SOMETHING" is abject bullshit.

Hot out there

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Forecast was for overcast and cool but the sun is out with high clouds - working up a sweat.

Fun times - Iran this time

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From gCaptain:

U.S. Believes Iran Encouraged Tanker Attacks - U.S. Sources
U.S. officials believe Iran encouraged Houthi militants or Iraq-based Shi’ite militias to carry out Sunday’s attacks on four tankers near the Strait of Hormuz, two U.S. government sources said on Wednesday.

The sources, who spoke on condition of anonymity and who are familiar with U.S. national security assessments, said they viewed the attacks as a serious provocation by Iran which posed a significant threat to shipping.

Iran rejects the allegation of Iranian involvement and Iranian Foreign Minister Mohammad Javad Zarif has said that “extremist individuals” in the U.S. government were pursuing dangerous policies. No one has claimed responsibility for the tanker attacks.

Of course they are going to deny everything - that is their modus. They never do anything overt but they are the primary source of funding for terrorism. They bankroll the so-called palestinians (actually nomadic Jordanians).

Back to work

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Done with lunch and a quick surf. Having dinner out tonight and got a meeting tomorrow. More later.

Fun times in Iraq - developing

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From the U.S. Department of State:

Iraq Travel Advisory
Do not travel to Iraq due to terrorism, kidnapping, and armed conflict.

U.S. citizens in Iraq are at high risk for violence and kidnapping. Numerous terrorist and insurgent groups are active in Iraq and regularly attack both Iraqi security forces and civilians. Anti-U.S. sectarian militias may also threaten U.S. citizens and Western companies throughout Iraq. Attacks by improvised explosive devices (IEDs) occur in many areas of the country, including Baghdad.

The U.S. government’s ability to provide routine and emergency services to U.S. citizens in Iraq is extremely limited. On May 15, 2019, the Department of State ordered the departure of non-emergency U.S. government employees from the U.S. Embassy in Baghdad and the U.S. Consulate in Erbil; normal visa services will be temporarily suspended at both posts. On October 18, 2018, the Department of State ordered the temporary suspension of operations at the U.S. Consulate General in Basrah. The American Citizens Services (ACS) Section at the U.S. Embassy Baghdad will continue to provide consular services to U.S. citizens in Basrah.

U.S. citizens should not travel through Iraq to Syria to engage in armed conflict, where they would face extreme personal risks (kidnapping, injury, or death) and legal risks (arrest, fines, and expulsion). The Kurdistan Regional Government stated that it will impose prison sentences of up to ten years on individuals who illegally cross the border. Additionally, fighting on behalf of, or supporting designated terrorist organizations, is a crime that can result in penalties, including prison time and large fines in the United States.

Shit's getting hot over there.

Open borders - illegal immigration

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We do not know who is streaming through our Southern borders. From Laredo, Texas station KGNS:

African immigrants protest at bridge
Hundreds of African immigrants were seen protesting at a Laredo port of entry on Monday morning.

The migrants are claiming that not enough is being done by either the U.S. or Mexican officials to help them get asylum into the United States.

Immigrants from Africa made up of men, women and children stood their ground waiting for answers outside the Mexican customs offices near a Laredo bridge.

Who is paying for this? Several hundred airplane tickets, lodging, transportation, food - that is some serious money being spent. Who is spending it? It certainly has a Cloward-Piven stench to it...

Those Chinese tariffs

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Speaking truth to power at Economics website Market Watch:

The media is lying to you about Trump’s China tariffs
Are you kidding me?

I’m used to partisan, inaccurate drivel from all sides these days, but the media’s coverage of President Trump’s tariffs and the so-called “trade war” takes some kind of cake.

More - with a little bit about the author:

I write this, incidentally, as someone who is no fan of the president. But I remember when politics was supposed to stop at the water’s edge.

And, anyway, facts are facts. Most of what the public is being told about these tariffs is either misleading or a downright lie.

I’ve been following the coverage all weekend with my jaw on the floor.

And the numbers:

Uncle Sam benefits
Yes, tariffs are “costs.” But they do not somehow destroy our money. They do not take our hard-earned dollars and burn them in a big pile. Tariffs are simply federal taxes. That’s it. The extra costs paid by importers, and consumers, goes to Uncle Sam, to distribute as he sees fit, including, for example, on Obamacare subsidies.

It wasn’t long ago the media was complaining because Trump was cutting taxes. Now it’s complaining he’s raising them. Confused? Me too.

And the amounts involved are trivial. Chicken feed.

President Trump just hiked tariffs from 10% to 25% on about $200 billion in Chinese imports. In other words, he just raised taxes by … $30 billion a year.

Oh, no!

The total amount we all paid in taxes last year — federal, state and local — was $5.51 trillion. This tax increase that has everyone’s panties in a twist is a rounding error.

Tempest in a teapot. We import much more from China than China imports from us. President Trump is trying to balance that out a bit. Carrot and stick.

Fun times in D.C. - a three-fer

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Things are starting to get interesting:

First - this wonderful editorial at Town Hall:

Why Did the Anti-Trump Conspirators Throw Their Lives Away?
There is an old expression in power politics: If you are going to kill the king, you had better kill the king. This figure of speech in essence means that if a cabal of coup plotters plans to remove an extremely powerful leader of a country, they had better do so with the knowledge that if they fail in their attempt, the retribution they face will be severe, crushing and irredeemable. Those who sought to destroy Donald Trump failed. And they failed spectacularly. Now I believe they are going to face a retribution as deserving as those who would seek to kill a king.  The question that most fascinates me is: Why would this cabal of anti-Trump plotters risk everything - their reputations, their fortunes and possibly even their freedom - to subvert an American presidential election and then a presidency itself?

Why indeed - second, from CNS News:

Ex-DOJ Official: Democrats Should Be 'Quite Worried' About Latest Investigation of the Investigators
The New York Times reports that Attorney General William Barr has assigned John Durham, the United States Attorney in Connecticut (and a Trump appointee) to look into the origins of the FBI's Trump-Russia investigation.

According to the report, Durham "has a history of serving as a special prosecutor investigating potential wrongdoing among national security officials."

Dunham was the lawyer who took down the rogue agents in the Boston FBI office. They were helping convicted mobster Whitey Bulger - excellent pick.
Third, from Tyler at Zero Hedge:

No "Do-Over" On Russia Investigation: White House Tells Nadler To Pound Sand
White House counsel Pat Cipollone wrote in a Wednesday letter to House Judiciary Chairman Jerrold Nadler (D-NY) that Congress doesn't get a "do over" of special counsel Robert Mueller's Russia investigation and others conducted by the Justice Department. 

Nadler has led recent efforts in the Democratic-controlled House to continue, which are set to include hearings with Mueller himself, along with key witnesses in his investigation.

"Congressional investigations are intended to obtain information to aid in evaluating potential legislation, not to harass political opponents or to pursue an unauthorized 'do-over' of exhaustive law enforcement investigations conducted by the Department of Justice," reads the 12-page letter laying out a legal argument for why Nadler is overstepping his bounds.

Heh - they spent two years and $25.2 million (our dollars paid in taxes) and found nothing. This quote from Albert Einstein comes to mind:

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Cold weather

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Had to put on a jacket when working outside - overcast and 50's. From Cliff Mass:

A Wet Period Ahead for the U.S. West Coast
The first half of May has been generally dry and warm over the Pacific Northwest, but soon everything will change.

The second half of the month promises to be cool and wet in Washington and Oregon, with northern California swamped by highly unusual amounts of rain. As we shall see, this wet period has highly positive implications for the upcoming wildfire/smoke season.

More at the site. The ten-day forecast for here is mostly cloudy and high 50's / low 60's

Measles in Seattle

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From Seattle station KIRO:

King and Pierce County Health Departments warn of possible measles exposure
Health departments in Pierce and King counties are warning of a possible measles exposure in over a dozen locations spanning both counties.

A Pierce County man in his 40s spent time at a number of public locations while contagious.

So far, this single case has not been linked to any others. It is not known where the man contracted measles.

Sigh... Anti-vax is child abuse plain and simple.

Back to work

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Done with lunch - back to work on the lawn and horsetail. Also filling the hummingbird feeders - made some nectar yesterday.

Heh - a country song

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Who can forget Steve Goodman's Perfect Country and Western Song

Lunch break

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Taking some time off for a sandwich and surf for a little bit.

Have a major infestation of Horsetail in the garden so looking at how to get rid of it (next to impossible). Got some weed-killer and a couple hypodermic syringes at the local feed store so spending this afternoon scissoring off the top and injecting the stalk. These are just in the raised beds so should only take an hour or two.

Got some bacon thawing out - doing bacon/bean soup for dinner tonight. Start in on processing the studio photographs tonight.

Done with the photography

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Finished off 14 hours of photography over three days - got some good stuff and got to see everyone's art studios. There are some amazing people out here. Now I get to spend another couple hours on darktable developing them.

Heading out for dinner in a bit - need to pick up a few things at Lowe's. Been trying to attract crows to a feeder. This island was called Crow Island during the period of intense logging from 1900 through the 1950's. It was officially named in 1847 for the Spanish explorer Jacinto Caamaño (here and here). It's native name was Kal-lut-chin which in the language of the Snohomish means "land jutting into a bay".

Anyway, I purchased and deployed a couple molded plastic crow decoys ($4 each shipped from China!) and they are working. Crows love peanuts in the shell and the shells prevent seagulls and other birds from stealing the food. Came home this afternoon to find about ten of them perched around the house - tossed out a handful of the peanuts and they were very happy.

Planning to build a raised platform feeder as crows like these the best. Need to get a couple things at Lowe's for that. Chinese buffet for dinner and then back home.

And that is it for tonight

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Watch a couple videos and then finish taking the studio tour photos (six more to go) tomorrow. Farm sometime Tuesday.

Terrorism at home

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From Pensacola, Fl station WEAR-TV:

FBI uncovers homegrown terror training camp in Alabama
At first glance, it looks like an abandoned dump.

But this plot of land in Macon County, Alabama is described in an FBI search warrant as a "makeshift military-style obstacle course" belonging to a small group of terrorists led by Siraj Wahhaj who owned the property up a long dirt road but just a few miles from downtown Tuskegee.

The property, similar to another compound in New Mexico the group is now linked to where federal prosecutors say Wahhaj and four other suspects were training children to carry out deadly terror attacks on American soil.

These goblins are streaming in through our Southern border and are setting up shop here, recruiting sleeper cells and generally waiting to wreak havoc on us. Time to enforce the borders and clean house.

Just beautiful

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Who knew that Sir Anthony Hopkins composes music when he is not acting:

And after the concert he murdered and ate one of the clarinet players.
With Fava beans and a nice Chianti...

Tip of the hat to Kim DuToit - his website is a daily read for me.

Long day

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Went to the ham radio swap meet this morning - since I am a member of the club that is hosting it, I was needed to work the event. Got some great deals on parts so very happy. It was well attended with 64 vendors represented and about 200 attendees wandering about in the Stanwood Middle School gym:

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I picked up three feed-through insulators similar to this one:

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Five bucks for three of them was a screamin' deal - the split part in the center is designed to fit into a hole in a weatherproof box with the half on the inside connected to the transmitter circuitry and the other half on the outside feeding your antenna. Glazed ceramic stands up to a lot of radio energy - you can make these from plastic but plastic will absorb moisture from the air and you will get losses and heating. Ceramic is perfect. Like I said, screamin' deal.

I also picked up a digital picture frame - next winter I plan to start scanning a bunch of older family photos and it will be nice to have them on display. Five bucks for that too.

Spent the rest of the afternoon taking photographs of the Studio Tour - volunteered to take them this year. 32 Studios and a lot of really wonderful art and wonderful people.

Had the prime rib dinner at the Legion Hall (Second Saturday) so stuffed and feeling tired.

Out the door

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Ready to roll - today's event starts at 10:00AM - getting some coffee first. Switch over to this event at 4:30PM

Busy weekend...

The Trump Presidency

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An interesting look at President Trump's America - from American Greatness:

Democrats’ Collapse Could Happen Quickly
There are signs of Democrats’ coming electoral collapse, some anecdotal, some by the numbers. Most Democrats are staying loyal to their party, no matter how far how left their party shifts. But President Trump doesn’t need most Democrats; he only needs a few to get turned off by the Democrats’ radical proposals and identity politics.

Immediately after the 2018 midterms, it looked as if the strategy of dirtying President Trump in the eyes of low-information voters was working well for them. The collapse of the Russian collusion hoax has changed the equation.

A very interesting observation:

Democrats’ decision to change the demographics of our country through open borders is alienating many Hispanic voters. The attendance figures for President Trump’s El Paso rally sent a shiver of fear through Democrats: 70 percent of rally attendees were Latino, 50 percent were Democrats. This month, the McLaughlin poll shows a 50 percent jump in Trump’s approval among Hispanics.

There are solid reasons for Trump’s rising popularity among this demographic. More American Latinos start small businesses than any other group in the United States. Jobs are booming. Their wage growth has jumped above the national average. They don’t need to read the paper to understand they are competing for work with illegals. They are being terrorized by criminal illegals killing and raping their family members and neighbors. Liberal talking points can’t hide those realities.

The Democrats are out of touch with their constituents. They are imposing their ideas on us normals, they are not leading.

More at the site - some interesting ideas.

On the island

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It got hot today - temps up to 78°F

Fixing a simple dinner and then out to a meeting tonight - Camano Preparedness Group and tonight's session is on alternative techniques for communication for non-Hams. About 10% of the group are already licensed and we keep urging people to study and get, at least, their Technician's license. About 40 hours of rote memorization over a month or two and you are good to go.

Getting the camera batteries charged up for this weekend. I will be busy.

Out for coffee

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Stop in at the store for a while and then back home to pack. Heading out to the condo with another load and then down to the island for a meeting tonight and a very very busy weekend.

Offended snowflakes

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No sense of history:

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Dinner was good

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Stuffed and heading out for a beer or two. Got a lot packed up. Will be bringing some more music things down to the island tomorrow as well as stuff for the yard sale at the condo. Nice to have a keyboard set up within sight of the ocean. Very inspiring.

Fun needlepoint:

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Got a spare $30K or so?

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Wanna buy a boat? The Clifford A. Barnes is up for auction with 12 days remaining.

65.5' Oceanographic Vessel: Clifford A. Barnes
This vessel is located at the UW Marine Sciences Building dock on our Seattle campus.

The Clifford A. Barnes has been a “local” class oceanographic research vessel built originally as a U.S. Coast Guard ice-breaking harbor tugboat. The vessel was transferred to the National Science Foundation in 1982 before its conversion to marine science research and assignment to the University of Washington. Full ownership for R/V Barnes was transferred to the UW in late 2018.

R/V Clifford A. Barnes was built in 1966 at Western Boat in Tacoma, Washington, as USCGC Bitt WYTL 65613. The Barnes and her sisters were a class of fifteen (15) ice-breaking small harbor tugs designed for Ice Ops, Search/Rescue and Pollution Response. As the BITT, she operated from Puget Sound to Alaska and was decommissioned in 1982 and surplussed to the National Science Foundation.

$30K is a screaming deal - this boat is built like a tank, very heavy and rock solid. Cruises at about eight knots with a range of about 1K miles. Perfect for cruising the inside passage in comfort and style. I have never sailed on her but have toured her a couple times while I was working for the marine engineering company (my last Seattle job). She needs some paint and a good bit of TLC but eminently seaworthy. I could see myself spending many a pleasant afternoon behind this desk:

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alt.energy in the news

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Sobering dose of reality from Germany by way of Forbes Magazine:

The Reason Renewables Can't Power Modern Civilization Is Because They Were Never Meant To
Over the last decade, journalists have held up Germany’s renewables energy transition, the Energiewende, as an environmental model for the world.

“Many poor countries, once intent on building coal-fired power plants to bring electricity to their people, are discussing whether they might leapfrog the fossil age and build clean grids from the outset,” thanks to the Energiewendewrote a New York Times reporter in 2014.

With Germany as inspiration, the United Nations and World Bank poured billions into renewables like wind, solar, and hydro in developing nations like Kenya.

But then, last year, Germany was forced to acknowledge that it had to delay its phase-out of coal, and would not meet its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction commitments. It announced plans to bulldoze an ancient church and forest in order to get at the coal underneath it.

Much more at the site. Nice idea but it simply does not pencil out without huge government subsidies (our tax dollars at work). Plus, because it is not a reliable source, the utilities have to maintain a backup generator running all the time on "hot standby" for when the wind dies.

Done for the day

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Went out for coffee, drove to the city of Lynden to drop something off, went to the condo to unload and then back home and spent the afternoon working in the barn and the DaveCave.

Heading back to the condo tomorrow and then to the island for a few days.

Taking a break and getting dinner ready - got some smoked beef brisket thawing out so will do that with some bow-tie noodles. I like cooking some frozen peas with the pasta - little pops of flavor. Toss with Kerry Gold butter and that is dinner.

Turns out that CNN's viewership has dropped to 767,000 per day for their prime-time shows. YouTube just announced that they have 2,000,000,000 views per month

Hmmm... 2,000,000,000 / 767,000 = 2607.56 / 30 = 86.91 times more per month. That has to leave a mark. Maybe if they had better programming and actually did some fact checking instead of braying out the latest narrative.

I predict this will be called out in 3... 2... 1... days from now. From The Seattle Times:

Decade in the red: Trump tax figures show more than $1 billion in business losses
By the time his master-of-the-universe memoir “Trump: The Art of the Deal” hit bookstores in 1987, Donald Trump was already in deep financial distress, losing tens of millions of dollars on troubled business deals, according to previously unrevealed figures from his federal income tax returns.

Trump was propelled to the presidency, in part, by a self-spun narrative of business success and of setbacks triumphantly overcome. He has attributed his first run of reversals and bankruptcies to the recession that took hold in 1990. But 10 years of tax information obtained by The New York Times paints a different, and far bleaker, picture of his deal-making abilities and financial condition.

The data — printouts from Trump’s official Internal Revenue Service tax transcripts, with the figures from his federal tax form, the 1040, for the years 1985 to 1994 — represents the fullest and most detailed look to date at the president’s taxes, information he has kept from public view. Though the information does not cover the tax years at the center of an escalating battle between the Trump administration and Congress, it traces the most tumultuous chapter in a long business career — an era of fevered acquisition and spectacular collapse.

Emphasis mine - I am calling bullshit on this. We will find out soon enough.

At the farm

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Nice drive up - the dogs were ecstatic to be able to run over the 30 acres - whining and prancing as I pulled up. I take them to an off-leash park on the island almost every day but this is just not the same. Still, they seem to be happy down there, just one element that is missing from their life.

A bit tired so quick surf, watch some videos and then to bed - full day tomorrow and Thursday. Meeting Thursday night and then Friday, Saturday and Sunday are spoken for (about eight hours each day).

Lots of junk email - I always get some but the volume in the last week was double the recorded average (I hate spam so I run a program that tracks it) - keep an eye out for trends.

Off to the dump and points North

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Heading out in a few minutes.

So wrong on so many levels

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Education needs to be just that. Education is not indoctrination and conflating the two is child abuse.

From Nature:

Children can foster climate change concern among their parents
The collective action that is required to mitigate and adapt to climate change is extremely difficult to achieve, largely due to socio-ideological biases that perpetuate polarization over climate change. Because climate change perceptions in children seem less susceptible to the influence of worldview or political context, it may be possible for them to inspire adults towards higher levels of climate concern, and in turn, collective action. Child-to-parent intergenerational learning — that is, the transfer of knowledge, attitudes or behaviours from children to parents — may be a promising pathway to overcoming socio-ideological barriers to climate concern. Here we present an experimental evaluation of an educational intervention designed to build climate change concern among parents indirectly through their middle school-aged children in North Carolina, USA. Parents of children in the treatment group expressed higher levels of climate change concern than parents in the control group. The effects were strongest among male parents and conservative parents, who, consistent with previous research, displayed the lowest levels of climate concern before the intervention. Daughters appeared to be especially effective in influencing parents. Our results suggest that intergenerational learning may overcome barriers to building climate concern.

The full paper is paywalled so no word as to who funded this progressive garbage. The climate change people have no data backing them up. They have to resort to rhetoric.

Climate update - 12 seconds

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This is horrible - from the Babylon Bee:

Update: We Now Have Only 12 Seconds Left Until Climate Change Destroys The Planet
A new update issued by watchdog groups on climate change indicated this afternoon that we only have 12 seconds left until climate change destroys the planet.

We previously thought we had just 12 years, then 10 years, but the latest update indicates that we have well under a minute.

"The earth will be totally destroyed in the next, oh, 12 seconds," said Beto O'Rourke at a rally. "If you don't give the government a bunch of money and power, it will happen. Trust me."

"So hand over the cash, guys," he said. "Like, now. I'm super serious."

This tragic development means that humanity won't have time to correct climate change, and our writers probably won't even have time to finish thi

Needless to say, the Bee is a satire site.

From the Houston Chronicle:

Baker Hughes chooses Permian Basin to debut 'electric frack' technology
Houston oilfield service company Baker Hughes is using the Permian Basin in West Texas to debut a fleet of new turbines that use excess natural gas from a drilling site to power hydraulic fracturing equipment — reducing flaring, carbon dioxide emissions, people and equipment in remote locations.

Flaring is the burning off of unusable gases as a byproduct of oil extraction. What they are planning:

Baker Hughes estimates 500 hydraulic fracturing fleets are deployed in shale basins across the United States and Canada. Most of them are powered by trailer-mounted diesel engines. Each fleet consumes more than 7 million gallons of diesel per year, emits an average of 70,000 metric tons of carbon dioxide and require 700,000 tanker truck loads of diesel supplied to remote sites, according to Baker Hughes.

“Electric frack enables the switch from diesel-driven to electrical-driven pumps powered by modular gas turbine generating units,” Simonelli said. “This alleviates several limiting factors for the operator and the pressure pumping company such as diesel truck logistics, excess gas handling, carbon emissions and the reliability of the pressure pumping operation.”

Sounds like win/win to me...

From Tyler at Zero Hedge:

Arizona Democrats Claim No Border Crisis - Then Beg Trump For Help With Flood Of Migrants
Five Arizona House Democrats who have repeatedly denied that there is a crisis at the border have asked acting Homeland Security Secretary Kevin McAleenan to help with the flood of immigrants at the southern border by appointing a "federal crisis coordinator."

In a Monday letter to McAleenan, the Democrats suggested that the Trump administration's border security policies were setting up "a range of other catastrophic issues," according to The Hill

Arizona Democratic Reps. Ruben Gallego, Raúl Grijalva, Ann Kirkpatrick, Greg Stanton and Tom O'Halleran wrote that the administration's measures to use Defense Department funds, build a wall, cut aid to Central America and threaten to shut down the U.S.-Mexico border "will create a range of other catastrophic issues and fail to address this humanitarian crisis in any way." -The Hill

"This humanitarian crisis requires a humanitarian response," reads the letter. "To that end, we believe that you should immediately increase communication and coordination among federal, state, local, and tribal governments as well as non-governmental stakeholders to promote the well-being and safety of migrant families, process asylum claims quicker, efficiently use federal and non-federal resources, and ensure that DHS [Department of Homeland Security] can meet its national security mission." 

And let's back up a month or two:

Wait, what border crisis? 
Many of the same Democrats who signed the letter have repeatedly denied that there is a crisis at the border, only to eventually call it a "humanitarian crisis" created by President Trump. 

Much more at the site - Tyler posts copies of the various statements and tweets from these representatives saying that there is no problem and that the Federal Government needs to let them govern their own state. Fine. Now, when your errors of governence cause a crisis, you come running to the Federales with your hand out. I thought that the individual states were supposed to take care of their own problems and not come running to Uncle Sam every time they stubbed their collective toes - you do not learn anything if you are not held accountable.

Title is paraphrased from a 1967 Donovan song.

Island time

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Didn't get to painting the closet yesterday but got a lot of other stuff done. Painting takes a three hour chunk for prepping and cleaning up above and beyond the time spent slinging paint so didn't have the time to do it. I have another closet to paint and put up new shelving so will do both of them after this very busy weekend.

Sitting here with my coffee surfing a bit. Planning to do a little yard work, a trip to the dump and then up to the farm.

Interesting times - Iran

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Iran is the leading sponsor of islamic terrorism. Things are about to get interesting. From The Associated Press:

US sends carrier to Mideast, citing unspecific Iran threats
The U.S. is sending an aircraft carrier group to the Middle East ahead of schedule and warning that Iran and its proxy forces are showing “troubling and escalatory” indications of a possible attack on American forces in the region.

Exactly what prompted the action was unclear, but it marked a further step in sharply rising tensions between the Trump administration and the Islamic Republic.

National Security Adviser John Bolton said Sunday night the U.S. was deploying the USS Abraham Lincoln Carrier Strike Group and a bomber task force to the Middle East, intending to send a message that “unrelenting force” will meet any attack on American forces or allies.

“The United States is not seeking war with the Iranian regime, but we are fully prepared to respond to any attack, whether by proxy, the Islamic Revolutionary Guard Corps or regular Iranian forces,” he said.

It might be that the rest of the Arab world is fed up with the constant attacks..
This from The Associated Press, November 19, 2017:

Arab League delivers harsh criticism of Iran, little action
In a resolution long on criticism but short on concrete steps, Arab foreign ministers who met in Cairo Sunday delivered a tirade of criticism against Iran and its Lebanese proxy Hezbollah, saying Tehran was destabilizing the region.

They said they planned to “brief” the U.N. Security Council on Iran’s destabilizing policies in the region, particularly its support for Shiite rebels in Yemen, with a view to submit at a later stage an anti-Iran Arab resolution.

In what is perhaps the only concrete measure, the ministers said Arab telecommunications satellites would ban Iranian-financed television stations for what they said was their fomenting of sectarian and ethnic tensions and because they posed a threat to Arab security. It gave no details.

“We are not declaring war on Iran at this stage,” Arab League chief Ahmed Aboul-Gheit said. “We have not taken a decision to ask the Security Council to meet, but we are just briefing the council and maybe the next stage would be for us to meet and call for a Security Council meeting and submit a draft Arab resolution (against Iran).”

We are exporting a lot more oil and drinking their milkshake. They can no longer afford to continue as they have been - ignoring the global realpolitik and funding sectarian violence. Time to join the rest of us in the 21st century. Good!

Break for lunch

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Getting warm out there - high overcast but temps in the high 60's with the forecast for mid-70's for this coming weekend. Great for the two events. Almost too hot for the hoop house now.

Fixing lunch and then some time indoors prepping for the painting - need to take the existing shelves out of the closet and figure out the lighting.

Out in a few

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Coffee, post office, storage unit, recycling.

Back home to paint the closet and putter in the yard - need to run the mower.

Make a few telephone calls and then heading up to the farm for a day or two.

Surfed a bit - nothing much happening out there.

Got two events this next weekend: SCARC 2019 28th ANNUAL Electronic Flea Market and Hamfest and  Camano Island Art Studio Tour

Heading out in a little bit

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Mt Vernon for Costco, Lowe's, Coop and some dinner at the Chinese Buffet.

Going to paint the closet tomorrow prior to putting in the shelves. Picking up some wood for the shelf supports - doing some nice stuff with particle board these days (never thought I would be saying THAT!) and it is 1/2 the cost of "real wood". These are stringers that will be screwed to the walls to support the shelves. I will make sure to use enough screws to hold them and they are already primed so it will be easy to paint them when I paint the rest of the closet. Using some nice oak for the front of the shelves - should look really nice.

This is in the media room where I will have my music stuff and the closet will be a primary storage location for a lot of my gear - camera stuff too.

The Chinese Buffet has a Mongolian grill as one of their options so bringing some Bok Choy for them to stir fry - they have it sometimes but I really like it so make sure to bring some along. Family run place - really nice people.

Interesting - from Newsweek:

UFOS INVADING MILITARY AIRSPACE MULTIPLE TIMES PER MONTH, BUT PUBLIC WON’T BE TOLD MORE
Since 2014, UFOs have intruded upon military airspace as often as several times per month, a military official told the Washington Post. In a follow-up published by the Post on Monday, the same official said that the U.S. Navy will not share any more information regarding what they call “unexplained aerial phenomena” with the public, despite drafting formal procedures to document UFO sightings on an ongoing basis.

“There have been a number of reports of unauthorized and/or unidentified aircraft entering various military-controlled ranges and designated air spaces in recent years,” the Navy said in a statement released to Politico, who first reported on the new approach. “The Navy is updating and formalizing the process by which reports of any such suspected incursions can be made to the cognizant authorities. A new message to the fleet that will detail the steps for reporting is in drafts.”

Hmmmmm... A bit of history:

As they say - The Truth is Out There...

Done with lunch

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Working on the lawn today - raking and getting ready for reseeding. Also cleaning and refilling the hummingbird feeders. Got a couple crow decoys in the mail this morning so will be placing them around the yard to attract them to a feeding station. Hummingbirds, corvids and raptors are my three favorite birds.

Down here for another day or two but need to get up to the farm for a couple days.

Escalation in Israel

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The terrorists are escalating their war against Israel. Some headlines:

From that last link:

The Israeli military sent an additional tank brigade to the Gaza border on Sunday and prepared for fighting in the coming days after over 450 rockets and mortar shells were fired into southern Israel from the Gaza Strip over the course of 24 hours this weekend, killing an Israeli man and injuring several others.

In response to the attacks, the Israel Defense Forces said it bombed over 220 military targets in the Strip, causing considerable damage to terror groups’ facilities, but relatively few casualties in the densely populated coastal enclave.

These 9th century islamists are a scourge on the civilized world. They know nothing but hate and fear and live their life in ignorance. Islam needs a reformation.

Heh - bet they were not expecting that response - from Red State:

Democrats Attempt Twitter Poll About SCOTUS Justices. It Goes…Poorly
The Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee (DSCC), the organization working to elect Democrats to the United States Senate, posted a poll on their Twitter account Friday afternoon on the topic of Supreme Court Justices. It was an apparent attempt to encourage their followers on the issue of SCOTUS nominations — nominations that of course come from the President but must then clear the hurdle of the Senate. So far, the poll has not gone well for them.

The poll, which is still live for voting and scheduled to remain so for two more days, asks a simple question, “Do you want more Supreme Court justices like Ruth Bader Ginsburg or do you want more justices like Brett Kavanaugh?”

The trouble with a poll like this is that while donors to the DSCC are obviously supportive of Democrats and their policies, and the majority of the DSCC’s Twitter followers likely are as well, Twitter is a public forum, and that poll isn’t exclusively accessible by Democrats.

Here are the results as of May 3rd:

20190505-dem01.JPG

And the poll should have still been running today but I went to the site and found this:

20190505-dem02.JPG

Had this poll simply reached the end of it's allotted time, it would have shown the final results and not allowed any more votes. The Democrats did not like the results they got so they pulled the entire thing offline. Didn't fit the narrative so get rid of it.

A good list - 88 Truths

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From raptitude.com - Getting better at being human:

88 Important Truths I’ve Learned About Life
Everyone gets drilled with certain lessons in life. Sometimes it takes repeated demonstrations of a given law of life to really get it into your skull, and other times one powerful experience drives the point home once forever. Here are 88 things I’ve discovered about life, the world, and its inhabitants by this point in my short time on earth.

A couple that caught my eye:

01. You can’t change other people, and it’s rude to try.
05. Everyone likes somebody who gets to the point quickly.
16. Cynicism is far too easy to be useful.
55. By default, people think far too much.
83. The fewer possessions you have, the more they do for you.

83 more at the site - some obvious stuff, some not so obvious, some downright insightful...

Some fine folks at the ifo Institute for Economic Research in Munich did a study on CO2 emissions for electric cars. All of the emissions. From The Brussels Times:

Electric vehicles emit more CO2 than diesel ones, German study shows
When CO2 emissions linked to the production of batteries and the German energy mix - in which coal still plays an important role - are taken into consideration, electric vehicles emit 11% to 28% more than their diesel counterparts, according to the study, presented on Wednesday at the Ifo Institute in Munich.

Mining and processing the lithium, cobalt and manganese used for batteries consume a great deal of energy. A Tesla Model 3 battery, for example, represents between 11 and 15 tonnes of CO2. Given a lifetime of 10 years and an annual travel distance of 15,000 kilometres, this translates into 73 to 98 grams of CO2 per kilometre, scientists Christoph Buchal, Hans-Dieter Karl and Hans-Werner Sinn noted in their study.

The CO2 given off to produce the electricity that powers such vehicles also needs to be factored in, they say.

When all these factors are considered, each Tesla emits 156 to 180 grams of CO2 per kilometre, which is more than a comparable diesel vehicle produced by the German company Mercedes, for example.

Here is the website for the Institute: ifo Institute for Economic Research

Here is the website for the study: ifo Schnelldienst: Electric Vehicles are not a Panacea for Climate Change

And to think of all of our tax dollars that have gone into subsidizing alt.energy and Tesla in general.

Burrito and a couple pints - back in a while. Got a lot for my brain to digest from the training session.

Happy Star Wars Day

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May the Fourth be with you.

North Korea - a two-fer

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Two stories broke today. First, from the UK Sun:

KIM JONG BOOM North Korea fires ‘several new missiles’ as tensions flare with the West
North Korea has fired several new missiles today as simmering tensions with the West have once again started heating up.

The weapons were fired towards the East Sea at around 9am local time just days after Kim Jong-un's regime threatened the US with "undesired consequences".

And a bit more:

Earlier this month, North Korea warned the US it faces "undesired consequences" if it doesn't meet its demands in nuclear talks by the end of the year.

Kim Jong-un's regime is demanding the Trump administration show more flexibility - or else it will go back on its promise to scrap its deadly nuclear arsenal.

Pyongyang says it will only ditch its weapons programme if the US agrees to scrap crippling economic sanctions on the country.

Kim is trying to have his cake and eat it too - he wants to continue developing nukes but he also wants a McDonalds in Pyongyang. Not gonna happen. Obama would have caved.

Second, from Reuters:

North Korea faces food crisis after poor harvest, U.N. says
Four in ten North Koreans are chronically short of food and further cuts to already minimal rations are expected after the worst harvest in a decade, the United Nations said on Friday.

Official rations are down to 300 grammes - under 11 ounces - per person per day, the lowest ever for this time of year, the U.N. said following a food security assessment it carried out at Pyongyang’s request from March 29 to April 12.

It found that 10.1 million people were suffering from severe food insecurity, “meaning they do not have enough food till the next harvest,” U.N. World Food Program spokesman Herve Verhoosel said.

And:

Verhoosel said the word “famine” was not being used in the current crisis, but it might come to that in a few months or years. “The situation is very serious today - that’s a fact.”

The country suffered a famine in the mid-1990s believed to have killed as many as 3 million people.

Ahhhhhhh - the joys of centralized state planning. The poor North Korean people are going to be in for such a shock when they join the Western world.

Back home - great class

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I don't know if it has anything to do with President Trump's being in office but FEMA has gotten a lot better in the last year / 18 months. Better class materials, more outreach to amateur radio and community preparedness groups. All good stuff.

And I am outta here

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Get some breakfast and then head to class - starts at 10:00AM

Say no more:

From Don Surber who writes:

Let the Neocons rant. No one cares because unemployment just slid to 3.6%. Wages now average $27.77, which is more than $57,000 a year. Inflation is low. The economy is growing at 3%-plus.

The experts all said no one wins a trade war, and yet Americans are doing their best since the 1960s. Things have not been this good since the Beatles broke up.

We have an American president who puts America first.

The people in the media and the federal government cannot stand him.

What does that tell you about those two institutions? Maybe we should ship them to Red China where they would be happier.

But I would rather ship to Red China steel made in Pittsburgh. Thanks to President Trump that may happen some day.

Speaking truth to power...

Back from Bellingham

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Went up to the condo to drop off more stuff to sell - sorting and cleaning out much of the storage locker I have down here. Still keeping it for a while as it makes an excellent buffer when bringing things down from the farm. Drop off the load at the locker and then sort when I have the spare time.

Thawing out some pulled pork for tacos for dinner tonight. Probably head out for a couple of beers later - turned into a nice warm day so feel like chillin' a little bit and do not want to deal with tomorrow's Cinco de Mayo tomfoolery. Talk about amateur hour.

Ripping some more disks from the library - up over 18K individual songs.

Made some more nectar for the hummingbirds - starting to get quite a few visiting the feeder. A lot more nectar is being drunk. Almost out of sugar - that was a 25 pound bag from Costco.

Got a training session tomorrow in Mt. Vernon - the local emergency community is really good.

Well crap - RIP Peter Mayhew

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From Variety:

Chewbacca Actor Peter Mayhew From ‘Star Wars’ Dies at 74
“Star Wars” actor Peter Mayhew, who played Chewbacca in the original trilogy, died on Tuesday, his family announced on his Twitter. He was 74.

He died at his North Texas home surrounded by his family, read the Twitter statement.

Though he spoke entirely in growls, snarls, and the occasional roar, Chewbacca’s unwavering loyalty to Han Solo made him one of the most beloved characters in the franchise. Much more than just the hairy co-pilot of the Millennium Falcon, Chewie’s dependability and trustworthiness helped the iconic Wookiee function as the series’ ultimate “wing man.”

He was discovered by producer Charles H. Schneer while working as a hospital attendant in London, and cast in Ray Harryhausen’s “Sinbad and the Eye of the Tiger.” The next year, he was cast as Chewbacca, the 200-year-old Wookiee.

Truly a class act. He will be missed.

And she is outta here - from Boingboing: (Previously here and here)

Baltimore Mayor Catherine Pugh resigns over book grift scandal
Baltimore Mayor Catherine E. Pugh is resigning. Her residences and offices have been raided by the FBI and IRS, and she is under federal and state investigations for what sure as heck look like crime-y acts involving unbelievably lucrative sales of her self-published children’s book series, 'Healthy Holly.'

Pugh is a Democrat and a former state lawmaker. Her troubles began in March, when the Baltimore Sun and other news outlets reported on her super high-value book deals with companies that do business with Baltimore city and the state of Maryland.

A long history of Democrat rule - Maryland's governor is a Republican but Baltimore's last Republican Mayor was Theodore R. McKeldin who served one-term from 1963 to 1967. Baltimore is #5 in the top cities for murder rates - 10.6 times the overal USA average.

From Los Angeles station KTLA:

Sierra Snowpack Is Measured at 188% of Average in Final Survey of the Year
California water officials say cities and farms can expect ample water supplies this summer after winter storms blanketed the Sierra Nevada, nearly doubling the snowpack average for this time of year.

The Department of Water Resources said Thursday the fifth and final survey at Phillips Station recorded 47 inches of snow depth and a snow water equivalent of 27.5 inches. That’s 188 percent of average for the location near Lake Tahoe.

And our Sun still remains quiet and very sunspot-free.

Two from The Don

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Retired journalist (one of the good ones - actually concerned about facts, not The Narrative) Don Surber had two excellent posts today:

First:

Netflix releases details of $65 million bribe to Obama
Barack Obama will rake in about a billion bucks off his presidency. The presidency already has cost Donald John Trump a billion.

So far, Netflix gave the biggest bribe: $65 million to produce seven films.

(That ain't working. That's the way you do it. Money for nothing and your flicks for free.)

And Second:

Bill Barr may be Trumpier than Trump
A reader pointed out to me the Trumpiest moment in Attorney General Bill Barr's cross-examination by the Senate Judiciary Committee on Wednesday. Barr put in his place Dick Blumenthal, D-Stolen Valor.

Via Thomas Lifson, the transcript.

Blumenthal: "Did you make a memorandum of your conversation?"
Barr: "No, I didn't."
Blumenthal: "Did anyone, either you or anyone on your staff, memorialize your conversation with Robert Mueller?"
Barr: "Yes."
Blumenthal: "May we have those notes?"
Barr: "No."
Blumenthal: "Why not?"
Barr: "Why should you have them?"

I love it. The Attorney General is head of the Judicial Branch as well as a member of the President's Cabinet. They are not part of the Legislative branch. Congress does have oversight of the president but it's powers are strictly enumerated by the Constitution and the Amendments. Don writes:

He could have been a nice guy and released the notes, but why? When was Washington ever nice to us?

So sadly true. They detest us normals - we interfere with their power grabbing.

Still on the island

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Got done with bill paying, some phone calls and other paperwork and it is too late to drive up today.

Class on Saturday so heading up for a few days Sunday or Monday. Fixing a bowl of soup and a toasted baguette piece for dinner.

From The Hill:

Conservatives seize on Alabama state Dem's abortion comments
Republicans pounced Wednesday on remarks made by an Alabama state representative opposing a state bill that would criminalize abortion.

State Rep. John Rogers (D) said abortion "ought to be a woman’s choice," before adding, "Some kids are unwanted, so you kill them now or you kill them later."

"You bring them in the world unwanted, unloved, and you send them to the electric chair. So, you kill them now or you kill them later,” he continued, according to a video posted online.

This may be the truth for some people but anyone in public office should understand that sometimes, a little restraint is in order...

Out the door

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Heading up to the farm this afternoon. Got a class Saturday morning so back for that. More spew in a few hours...

So true - happiness

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Swiped from Chris Lynch:

20190502-happiness.jpg

From Central Washington University Geology Professor Nick Zentner:

Roadside Geology Series
Produced by Central Washington University.  These episodes were created for a local television station that no longer lives....but these programs remain.  Filmed by Rick Spencer & Chris Smart.  Edited by Rick Spencer.  2011 - 2012.

Here is the first one:

Fake News gets its comeuppance

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Pure schedenfreude - from Forbes:

CNN Drops 26% In Prime Time As Fox News Dominates April Cable Ratings
CNN's prime time hosts can only hope it will be better in the new building.

As CNN prepares to move its prime time studios and operations to a glitzy new building at New York City's brand new--and widely reviled--Hudson Yards development, the network saw its prime time lineup drop 26% in April compared to the same month one year ago. CNN's total audience in prime time was well under a million viewers--767,000--while competitors MSNBC and Fox News finished the month far ahead: MSNBC in second place overall with 1.660 million total viewers, and Fox News leading all of cable with a total audience of 2.395 million.

Gee - sagging ratings coupled with spending wads of money on a spiffy new headquarters. Sounds like the CNN management is out of touch with reality. They are beholden to the progressive narrative and fail to grasp that us normals are sick and tired of the perpetual Trump-bashing and constant hectoring. Wonder how many years until they are forced to declare bankruptcy. I am guessing less than two.

Taking a break from work

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Shelving prices have gone up a lot - a simple set of five wire metal shelves with standards and brackets would have been well over $100 for just five shelves at 32" long. Screw that. The house has a lot of exposed wood inside so I am going to continue the theme and use hardwood playwood. Have a couple of sheets at the farm so taking my track saw up tomorrow and breaking them down to manageble size - should be able to get everything out of two sheets and have enough left over for another shelving project as well.

Had a hot dog at Costco and probably do a salad and can of soup for dinner. Meeting tonight at 6:00PM.

Out the door

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Library opens at 10AM today, see if my barber is available (he was not earlier - opens at 9:00 but not there today) and pick up some stuff for building some shelves in the media room.

Listing some items on Craigslist - musical instruments I no longer use. Working on the computer 100% of the time. The technology has gotten really good (and cheap) in the last ten years.

A visitor to the island

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Had a visitor on April 25th:

20190501-bear.jpgFrom the Stanwood Camano News:

Rare visit is first confirmed island sighting in recent memory
Camano Island had an unusual visitor on Thursday when a black bear rambled around the island’s northeast end.

The rare sighting marks the first time in recent memory a bear was confirmed to have set foot on the island, according to Washington Department of Fish and Wildlife officials.

“I’m not aware of any bears that live on the island,” state Fish and Wildlife Sgt. Jennifer Maurstad said. “We get reports of from time to time of bears and cougars, but we haven’t had a confirmed sighting of either until Thursday.”

The bear was photographed and recorded on video walking near Smith and Juniper Beach roads. Black bears likely used to roam the island years ago, so it’s not surprising the large mammals could venture across the tidal flats to Camano — especially now.

This is about three miles from my house. I love bears but am glad that I took my bird seed feeders down a month ago. Just have the hummingbird feeders up for now.

Back from coffee

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Working on some stuff around the house today - meeting later tonight. Head up to the farm for a few days tomorrow.

Trumps tax records

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From Peter Grant:

20190501-records.jpg

May 2019

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